Gilas ramps up FIBA World Cup buildup with Spain tourney

MANILA, Philippines – The FIBA World Cup is just around the corner, and Gilas Pilipinas will be able to test its mettle following weeks of preparation as it sees action in a pocket tournament in Spain.

Gilas will fly to Madrid on August 4 and will travel to Guadalajara to play Congo and Ivory Coast in back-to-back practice matches.

The national team will then head to Malaga where it will face Congo again, this time in a mini tournament, with the winner facing the victor between Ivory Coast and Spain. 

Should the Philippines tangle with Spain, it will get a real taste of what to expect in the World Cup against Serbia and Italy – teams reinforced by NBA players.

Spain is anticipated to field all of its NBA standouts in the pocket tournament, namely, Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Juancho and Willy Hernangomez, and Rudy Fernandez. 

Gilas, though, will not be at full strength as it misses the services of PBA stars who will stay in the country to play in the Commissioner's Cup finals.

Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario will not be flying to Spain with TNT advancing to the championship round.

San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger, and Marcio Lassiter will also miss the Spain tiff as the Beermen secured the last title berth Friday night. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.